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Daggers Announced Online in Daggers Live!

CWA Dagger Awards 2020 Winners Announced

Michael Robotham, Lou Berney, Trevor Wood, Casey Cep, and Abir Mukherjee win 2020 CWA Dagger awards.

The winners of the 2020 CWA Daggers, which honour the very best in the crime writing genre, were announced in a live online event which was broadcast on Thursday 22 October. It was hosted by one of the UK’s leading experts on crime fiction, the writer and reviewer Barry Forshaw.  The evening also featured guest speaker, Richard Osman.

For those of you not lucky enough to see it live, you can watch the event on YouTube here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzeqmXskR7c

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

The 2020 CWA Gold Dagger for the best crime novel went to Michael Robotham for Good Girl, Bad Girl, featuring forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven. Born in Australia, Michael worked as a journalist in Australia, America and the UK – as senior feature writer for the Mail on Sunday – before becoming a ghost writer collaborating with politicians and show business personalities to write their autobiographies. Since his first psychological thriller, The Suspect caused a bidding war at the London Book Fair in 2002, his novels have won numerous awards and have been translated into 25 languages. He was previously awarded the Gold Dagger for Life or Death in 2015.

In the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, Lou Berney took the award for best thriller for November Road, a poignant crime novel set against the assassination of JF Kennedy. The novel attracted widespread acclaim from reviewers and fellow authors alike, with Stephen King declaring it ‘exceptional’. The American author has previously won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Barry, and Oklahoma Book awards. Lou Berney was also Highly Commended in the CWA Gold Dagger for November Road.

The much-anticipated John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger highlights the best debut novels. This year the accolade goes to Trevor Wood for The Man on the Street, featuring a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, dubbed by Lee Child as ‘an instant classic’. Wood, a journalist and playwright, has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He served in the Royal Navy for 16 years.

Abir Mukherjee wins the Sapere Books Historical Dagger for his fourth novel featuring Sam Wyndham, Death in the East. The accountant turned crime writer was inspired to become an author after watching Lee Child on breakfast TV and started writing age 40. Abir’s debut, A Rising Man, won the Dagger for best historical crime novel in 2017. Death in the East explores the legacy of colonialism in India.

The Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger goes to Hannelore Cayre for The Godmother, translated by Stephanie Smee. Hannelore Cayre is an award-winning French novelist, screenwriter and director, as well as a practising criminal lawyer. The Godmother has been made into a feature film starring Isabelle Huppert. Stephanie Smee, who lives in Sydney, worked as a lawyer in Sydney and London before becoming a translator, specialising in French to English.

The ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction is awarded to Casey Cep, a staff writer at the New York Times whose first book Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, has received acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. An instant New York Times bestseller, Furious Hours was a Barack Obama Book of the Year.

The CWA Daggers are one of the few high-profile awards that honour the short story. Lauren Henderson receives the Short Story Dagger for #Me Too which features in the anthology Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski.

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “The winners, and all those who were in contention for a Dagger are, as always, to be commended. One thing the pandemic and lockdown has taught us is the value and importance of books and storytelling – for escapism and comfort and for our well-being. Books have always been the conduit to other worlds and into other lives. They let us know we are not alone, so our 2020 virtual awards feel even more significant as many vulnerable people are in enforced isolation and we are all socially distancing. We’re proud to celebrate the crime genre.”

The Dagger in the Library is voted on exclusively by librarians, chosen for the author’s body of work and support of libraries. This year it goes to Scottish novelist Christopher Brookmyre, whose books mix comedy, politics and social comment. The journalist turned award-winning novelist is widely considered as one of Britain’s leading crime authors, selling more than two million copies of his novels in the UK alone.

One of the anticipated highlights of the annual Daggers is the Debut Dagger competition, open to unknown and uncontracted writers. The competition for unpublished writers can lead to them securing representation and a publishing contract. This year the winner is Josephine Moulds for Revolution Never Lies. Anna Caig was Highly Commended for The Spae-Wife.

The Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year Dagger, which celebrates publishers and imprints demonstrating excellence and diversity in crime writing, goes to Orenda Books. The London-based publisher was established in 2014 by Karen Sullivan.

Writer Barry Forshaw, MC for the Dagger Awards evening, said: “The CWA Dagger Awards are the most prestigious prizes in crime fiction, and this year has furnished a particularly strong set of books and authors. Nothing dampens the excitement of the Daggers – not even pandemics!”

The live event was a spectacular success with almost all the winners appearing live to receive their Dagger – none had been told in advance so the excitement and triumph was evident – just as in a real-life ceremony. The CWA wishes to thank all those who made the event such a success, including all the shortlisted authors who attended.

 

The Winners

GOLD DAGGER

Michael Robotham: Good Girl, Bad Girl (Sphere)

Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction) – Highly Commended

IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER

Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)

JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER

Trevor Wood: The Man on the Street (Quercus Fiction)

SAPERE BOOKS HISTORICAL DAGGER

Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker)

CRIME FICTION IN TRANSLATION DAGGER

Hannelore Cayre: The Godmother, translated by Stephanie Smee (Old Street Publishing)

SHORT STORY DAGGER

Lauren Henderson: #Me Too in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)

ALCS GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION

Casey Cep: Furious Hours (William Heinemann)

DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY

Christopher Brookmyre

DEBUT DAGGER

Josephine Moulds: Revolution Never Lies

Anna Caig: The Spae-Wife – Highly Commended

PUBLISHERS’ DAGGER

Orenda Books

https://thecwa.co.uk/

 

CWA Dagger Judging Panels

All the panels are independent of the CWA. The full lists of judging panels can be found at https://thecwa.co.uk/the-daggers

The 2020 CWA Dagger longlists are available on the CWA website.

 

CWA Daggers – The Categories

GOLD DAGGER

This award is for the best crime novel by an author of any nationality. It was originally created in 1955, under the name of the Crossed Red Herrings Award. It was renamed the Gold Dagger in 1960.

IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER

Eligible books in this category are thrillers set in any period and include, but are not limited to, spy fiction, psychological thrillers and action/adventure stories.

JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER

This award is for the best crime novel by a first-time author of any nationality.

CRIME FICTION IN TRANSLATION

This award is for a crime novel not originally written in English and which has been translated into English for UK publication.

ALCS GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION

This award is for any non-fiction work on a crime-related theme by an author of any nationality.

SAPERE BOOKS HISTORICAL DAGGER

This award is for the best historical crime novel, set in any period up to 50 years prior to the year in which the award will be made.

CWA SHORT STORY DAGGER

This award is for any crime short story first published in the UK in English in a publication that pays for contributions, or broadcast in the UK in return for payment.

DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY

The Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by an established crime writer who has long been popular with borrowers from libraries, and who has supported libraries and their users. Librarians nominate the authors.

DEBUT DAGGER

A competition for the opening of a crime novel and synopsis, chosen by judges: bestselling author Leigh Russell, editor Stephanie Glencross (of Jane Gregory/ David Higham Associates), Editorial Director at Bonnier Zaffre Katherine Armstrong, and director of literary agency A.M. Heath and Co. Oli Munson.

PUBLISHERS’ DAGGER

This prestigious Dagger is awarded annually to the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year.

DIAMOND DAGGER

Awarded every year to an author whose crime-writing career has been marked by sustained excellence, and who has made a significant contribution to the genre. Votes from CWA members go forward to be deliberated on by an independent panel.

This Dagger is announced in early spring each year and in 2020 goes to celebrated Golden Age specialist, anthology editor, reviewer and fiction writer Martin Edwards.

Martin was interviewed by former Diamond Dagger winner Ann Cleeves for the Daggers ceremony, and a fuller version of the interview can also be found on the CWA’s YouTube channel.

 

To view past winners, or find out more, please visit https://thecwa.co.uk/the-daggers

Dagger Sponsors

ALCS – Sponsors of the Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not-for-profit organisation started by writers for the benefit of all types of writers. Owned by its members, ALCS collects money due for secondary uses of writers’ work. It is designed to support authors and their creativity; ensure they receive fair payment and see their rights are respected. It promotes and teaches the principles of copyright and campaigns for a fair deal. It represents over 100,000 members, and since 1977 has paid around £500 million to writers.

alcs.co.uk

Ian Fleming Publications Ltd – Sponsors of the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

Ian Fleming Publications Ltd is the Fleming family-owned company that looks after the James Bond literary brand, by promoting and making available all of Ian Fleming’s 007 books across the world.  They also keep the brand alive through the publication of new stories by authors such as Anthony Horowitz, William Boyd, Jeffery Deaver, Sebastian Faulks, Raymond Benson, John Gardner, Kingsley Amis, Samantha Weinberg, Steve Cole and Charlie Higson.  Alongside James Bond publishing, the company also manages the rights for Fleming’s two non-fiction books and his only children’s book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

http://www.ianfleming.com

Sapere Books – Sponsors of the CWA Historical Dagger

Sapere Books is a digital-first publisher with a keen interest in historical and contemporary crime fiction and thrillers. Having launched in March 2018, Sapere Books now has many authors signed to its list and continues expanding. It is always keen to hear from crime writers, particularly those who are working on a planned series, or who have out-of-print titles which could be reissued digitally. We are very grateful for the support the CWA has shown us since our launch and are thrilled to be the sponsors of the Historical Dagger.

https://saperebooks.com/